Modern Commerce Keynote Preview: “Envisioning the Next Era of Commerce” Featuring Jason …

By: Mia McPherson

Content Strategist

We’re proud to announce that Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg will join us as keynote speaker for the Modern Commerce track of Modern CX.

Jason leads the Commerce & Content Practice at SapientRazorfish. Jason is a fourth-generation retailer, who launched his first ecommerce site for Blockbuster Entertainment in 1996. In the subsequent 20 years, he has served as a principal customer experience architect for top retailers including Best Buy, REI, and T-Mobile.

Under his Twitter feed @retailgeek, Jason is one of the most followed ecommerce experts on the web. In 2017, he was inducted into the National Retail Federation’s “The List” of people shaping the future of retail.

In his keynote speech, “Envisioning the Next Era of Commerce,” Jason, along with Oracle’s Katrina Gosek and Alistair Galbraith will delve into the evolution of digital commerce and share expert insights into the latest trends, innovations, and best practices—with the ultimate goal of helping retailers provide seamless customer experiences and drive online revenues.

“Envisioning the Next Era of Commerce” Keynote Summary

Date/time: Wed. 4/26 at 10:00am – 11:30am

Speakers:

  • Jason “Retailgeek Goldberg, Commerce and Content Practice Lead, SapientRazorfish
  • Katrina Gosek, Senior Director, Product Management, Oracle
  • Alistair Galbraith, Senior Director, CX Product Strategy, Oracle

Recognizing that the pace of change in the next 5 years will be faster than the last 50, online businesses need to redefine what it means to interact with customers. In today’s uber-digital world, customers interact with a palette of touch points; they expect brands to provide complete, connected, and engaging buying experiences. Join industry leaders and innovative brands as they share tips, techniques, and best practices on how they’re thinking about and designing commerce engagement for the future.

Katrina Gosek on commerce engagement for the future:

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence will continue to help us to create one-of-a-kind personalized experiences that will in turn generate faster, higher-value transactions online, as well as a more loyal customer base.”

Alistair Galbraith on commerce engagement for the future:

“Enhancements to voice recognition capabilities will continue to transform how we interact with music, content, and services. Amazon made it available to the world with its first range of Alexa-enabled devices. Soon device makers, service providers, and application developers will catch the wave and make voice-shopping a new touch point.”

Don’t miss out on the Modern Commerce keynote and full schedule of sessions featuring a cast of commerce experts. View all Modern Commerce sessions

Register for Modern Commerce Experience today.

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Announcing The Oracle IaaS TCO Calculator: See The TCO Savings IaaS Cloud Services Can Provide …

By: Edgar Haren

Principal Product Marketing Director

The public cloud is maturing, and businesses are increasingly turning to the cloud to meet their IT needs. Global spending on IaaS in 2019 is predicted to be US$28 billion. At every layer (software, platform, and infrastructure as a service, or SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS respectively), the motivation for cloud adoption is shifting from technical convenience (such as faster provisioning and pay as you go) to enabling business outcomes. These include digital transformation, developer empowerment, increased agility, deeper customer engagement, and gaining business insight from analytics everywhere.

To help potential customers assess the value of cloud infrastructure, the Oracle Infrastructure-as-a-Service team announced the availability of their TCO Calculator tool – Oracle IaaS TCO Calculator

The tool provides the following features:

  • Simple submission of workload requirements; compute, storage and networking along with use case drivers for migration.
  • Clear cost comparison. Showing how much your organization can significantly save by moving to Oracle Cloud IaaS vs. running their workloads on-premises, users can also edit the calculation assumptions to personalize the data even further.
  • Recommended Oracle IaaS Solution outlining savings and benefits to support migration.
  • Personalized assessment report. Following the analysis, customers can request the report which is based on all requirements including use case drivers, with cost breakdown over 3 years, detailed calculations and including applicable success stories.

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Key Speakers:

Thomas Kurian – President, Product Development

Thomas Kurian is president of Oracle product development and reports to Oracle executive chairman of the board and chief technology officer Larry Ellison. He is responsible for leading software development and transitioning the company’s technology to Oracle Cloud. For the past several years, Kurian has been responsible for the Oracle Fusion Middleware family of products. Under his leadership, that business became the fastest-growing within Oracle and the industry’s leading middleware product suite. Since 2008, Kurian has also led the development for Oracle’s next-generation business applications, Oracle Fusion Applications

Douglas Crockford

Douglas Crockford was born in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, but left when he was only six months old because it was just too damn cold. He turned his back on a promising career in television when he discovered computers. He has worked in learning systems, small business systems, office automation, games, interactive music, multimedia, location-based entertainment, social systems, and programming languages. He is the inventor of Tilton, the ugliest programming language that was not specifically designed to be an ugly programming language. He is best known for having discovered that there are good parts in JavaScript. This was an important and unexpected discovery. He also discovered JSON, the world’s most loved data interchange format. He is currently working on making the web a secure and reliable software delivery platform. He has his work cut out for him.

Chris Richardson

Chris Richardson is a developer, architect, and Java Champion. He is the author of POJOs in Action, which describes how to build enterprise Java applications with frameworks such as Spring and Hibernate. Chris was also the founder of the original CloudFoundry.com, an early Java PaaS for Amazon EC2. Today, he is a recognized thought leader in microservices. Chris is the creator of microservices.io, a website describing how to develop and deploy microservices. He provides microservices consulting and training and is working on his third startup eventuate.io, an application platform for developing microservices.

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Unlocking Greater Personalization with Modern Commerce Technology

By: Madhukar Kumar

VP CX Cloud

What is ecommerce personalization and what does it really mean?

Forget ecommerce for a second, and take a journey back in time with me.

Walking into a 1920s general store, chances are the owner knows me by name and knows what I bought the last time I visited. Maybe our families are close. The shop owner makes recommendations based on past purchases and a keen understanding of my personality and needs. You could argue this was a preferred shopping experience for consumers for much of the twentieth century.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century and we noticed that while more convenient, ecommerce by and large ushered consumers away from such personalized experiences. Then in the past few years we saw that consumers were beginning to want both convenience and personalized shopping experiences. And today, we are realizing this is the expectation.

Today both merchants and technology companies are working feverishly on a variety of personalization applications.

Advances in machine learning and data science in particular are helping merchants deliver the same level of personalization online a consumer may expect offline with a one-to-one engagement. Individualization of online experiences is now a reality and the consumer never has to leave their living room.

The age of data-driven, AI-empowered commerce individualization has arrived and is here to stay. Merchants can now leverage 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data to increase repeat purchases, improve loyalty, and satisfy customers.

In the following paragraphs, I’ll uncover how modern commerce applications like Oracle Commerce Cloud help merchants achieve this level of personalization through artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science.

How AI and data science help merchants achieve personalization

Making a personalized recommendation is a challenge if you don’t know who your customer is. The first step is to have ample access to the right data.

Here are some of the data points currently used by a majority of digital commerce sites to personalize product recommendations:

  1. Location data – By looking at an IP address, the general sense of customer location is gathered and this data is often used for product recommendations by location.
  2. Purchase history data – This is one of the key data points used by a majority of ecommerce technology providers to recommend next purchase.
  3. Demographic data – This information is used to make product recommendations based on age, gender, affluence. Once the demographic, psychographic and behavioral data is collected data science teams look for correlations across location, purchase history, and demographics and use it to either make next purchase recommendations or find segments of prospects most likely to buy a product.

Having this data is an important start. However, there’s a very big challenge with this process as it requires manual methods to create rule-based personalization.

This makes complex personalization nearly impossible, as customizing rules and attributes can get very unwieldy, very fast. In the past several years, many data science and analytics teams have spent countless hours on developing algorithms and rules that will recommend products their customers are most likely to buy. Here’s how this generally works:

  • You define the attributes that indicate interest – collect the data then clean, process and ship it over to the analytics team.
  • The analytics team builds models including, “Based on this, people who buy X product, are also likely be buy Y product, and are in Z industry” and run their analysis. This analysis then drives the rules for personalization.

As amazing as these insights might be, they are still rooted in complex rule-based personalization. What if the market changes drastically overnight? Or a new manufacturer enters the market? You need to completely rebuild your rules.

Here’s how rule-less personalization with AI works

With modern commerce technology like Oracle Commerce Cloud, merchants can crunch 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data, even among first-time site visitors taking advantage of Oracle’s Data as a Service.

By combining data sources in real-time artificial intelligence can run statistical modeling using machine learning libraries to uncover insights that would take a team of data scientists weeks to crunch. This rule-less approach works in real-time and adapts to every single customer. Furthermore, you can triangulate mobile devices and graph IDs, isolating customers across devices in their precise moment of need.

This moves merchants from rule-based systems that must be manually updated, to real-time recommendation engines rooted in artificial intelligence and machine learning libraries. And because Oracle’s AI strategy is application based, merchants can embed rule-less personalization in their site experiences with minimal effort.

Two advantages of rule-less personalization

The spray-and-pray marketing model has unfortunately been acceptable for decades. Single digit email open rates are still the gold standard. Even pay-per-click ads with a 2% conversion are considered stellar.

Ever wondered why so few digital commerce brands challenge this trend?

It’s because digital commerce technology is like online dating technology. You’re trying to match attributes and deliver a recommendation. The sheer number of attributes that must line up can be daunting. But whereas online dating sites can rely on their users directly sharing these attributes, digital commerce brands must rely on artificial intelligence and access to the right data in order to deliver the same experience. This data compounds and becomes more complex every day and is subject to ever-changing consumer shopping behaviors.

With rule-less personalization, matching up commerce experiences and moment-by-moment consumer needs is truly possible. Here are two major advantages:

1. You know you’re selling to the right audience:

Let’s say you’re selling a bike. AI and data science allow you to leverage a huge sample size to evaluate other customers that have likewise bought bikes. By running supervised machine learning models, you can determine in minutes which attribute combinations triggered a purchase. Then, all you need to do is go find customers with the exact same attribute combinations and you have a high-propensity-to-buy customer segment you could market to. Just like that, you know you’re selling to the right audience.

2. You convert more customers coming to your site:

AI helps you find the right audience, find the right match, and then personalize and individualize the experiences at scale. By starting with the most accurate snapshot of customer needs, your A/B testing and personalization efforts can further refine the experience thereby convert more customers.

Greater personalization through integrations

Back or front office, today’s ecommerce platform does not live in isolation. This means integrations are an essential component for any modern commerce platform.

Many small businesses get started thinking they only needed a payment method and a shopping cart. But when you break it down, there’s much more complexity in even the simplest platform deployments.

There’s the CMS, ERP, inventory management, product SKUs, security, and more. How do you develop continuity across systems and provide a frictionless customer experience when a vast majority of touch points are outside the ecommerce platform? You need an integration strategy. What about email marketing? Integration. What about social listening, engagement, and tracking? Again, that’s a separate integration.

Merchants are struggling today because as they grow, they simply can’t scale platform integrations fast enough. Many are investing in Integration Platforms as a result. But, this can cost millions of dollars.

A better option is to invest in a platform that boasts leading integration capabilities and helps you build your customer experience platform modularly.

Oracle Commerce Cloud is part of the Oracle CX suite that offers an Integration Cloud Service (ICS) along with hundreds of prefabricated connectors to other applications and platforms, several of which are already hooked up to all of our CX products. This means you get up and running faster and in a more affordable fashion. Oracle Commerce Cloud offers prebuilt connections to Responsys, social, sales cloud, CPQ, and more.

The possibilities are truly endless with today’s modern commerce technology. Merchants can go from simple recommendation-based personalization to rule-less individualization at light speed. But they must choose a platform wisely. A platform that allows them to start small but is also scalable. A platform that has pre-built machine learning based recommendations with one of the largest third party data sources. One that comes with its own integration platform so that you can provide a seamless and friction-less customer experience across all touch points even outside ecommerce.

Looking to learn more about what’s next in commerce? Download The Executive’s Handbook to Modern Digital Commerce >>

Join us for additional insights and best practices to develop personalized shopping experiences at Modern Customer Experience. It’s the industry-leading CX event in Las Vegas:

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Oracle Data Management Solutions: Leadership From The Data Center To The Cloud

By: Edgar Haren

Principal Product Marketing Director

With nearly four decades of data management and analytics innovation, Oracle is off to a strong start for 2017. Industry analyst Gartner has recognized Oracle as a leader among technology providers offering data management solutions. Gartner evaluates solution providers based on a variety of criteria including performance, customer usability, innovations, vision completeness and pricing. Based on these and other parameters, Gartner has published its latest Magic Quadrant for Data Management Solutions for Analytics, and it is our opinion that Oracle stood out from the competition by offering a truly unique value proposition to its customers, and the ability to execute on its strategy.

Figure-1: Gartner 2017 Magic Quadrant for Data Management Solutions for Analytics

Now Oracle is harnessing the strength of its on-premise solutions to bring this value to customers through unique and differentiated cloud offerings. Spanning data centers across 19 locations, Oracle offers a complete ecosystem of cloud services including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Data-as-a-Service (DaaS).

Figure-2: Bringing Industry Leading Data Warehouse Expertise To The Cloud

From these service segments, Oracle extends several full-featured data management offerings that align to each step of a customer’s data path. Whether a customer is looking to enable compute services for data ingestion or disaster recovery services for data retention, Oracle’s hybrid cloud design has an end-to-end portfolio that is 100% compatible with on-premise Oracle solutions.

Figure-3: Oracle’s Data Management Cloud Services

As enterprise data management cloud services become more pervasive, data warehouse solutions are also growing in demand. Data warehouse cloud services offer a variety of benefits. First, as data warehouses gather the data from databases and create a layer that is optimized and dedicated to analytics, DWaaS helps reduce the cost and complexity of managing the associated hardware, and enable analysts to focus on extracting value from their data. Secondly, as illustrated above, data has its own life-cycle and does not exist in a silo. By having your data warehouse in the cloud it enables data to flow more readily into key destination points. One such destination point is a business intelligence engine. Oracle offers an intuitive and agile BI cloud offering that extends your analytics with the power of the market-leading Oracle Database. Oracle also supports 3rd party BI and ETL solutions through its IaaS offering to help ensure ease of integration. Lastly, whether your firm is experienced with Hadoop implementations, or you are looking to begin testing its capabilities, Oracle offers a big data cloud service that aligns with emerging trend for hybrid transactional & analytical platforms. This dual path approach helps ensure that you can capture the value of Hadoop and integrate these new data streams within your traditional data consumption models.

Figure-4: Implementing A Hybrid Transactional & Analytical Platform

One of the big challenges for customers is that many public cloud providers lack support for a true hybrid-cloud and-on-premise data warehousing combination, which is the model that is predicted to be the norm for most organizations by the end of 2018. A second challenge with public cloud providers is that most customers are not looking for point product services, nor are they are satisfied by the incomplete solutions offered. Oracle offers true enterprise grade cloud solutions that are engineered for a compatible hybrid-cloud deployment.

Oracle’s Data Management Cloud Differentiation:

  • The #1 relational database in the industry, offered fully featured to Oracle cloud customers, a value proposition no other public cloud provider can offer.
  • A high-performance data management cloud offering in the Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Service.
  • In-Memory database provides rapid analytic scans enabling queries to execute up to 100X faster, which in turn helps accelerate decision making and better agility
  • Oracle offers a fully featured cloud DNA that is purposely engineered to enable a hybrid cloud deployment that is 100% compatible with Oracle databases.
  • 75% faster deployment of Oracle databases and applications for faster time to value.
  • While most public cloud providers utilize commodity hardware, Oracle implements a hardened, enterprise grade, architecture optimized for critical workloads.
  • Industry leading 10x data compression for reduced storage costs and increased performance.
  • Oracle Cloud Machine delivers Oracle Cloud services in your data center, fully managed by Oracle, so that you can take advantage of the agility, innovation and subscription-based pricing of Oracle Cloud while meeting data-residency requirements.

Figure-5: A True Enterprise Grade Cloud Service

Current Oracle customers leveraging our data management cloud services fall into two major use categories:

  1. Migration To The Cloud
  2. New Monetization Opportunities

Figure-6: Data Warehouse Use Cases In The Cloud

In the first category, we find customers that are taking more common use cases such as enterprise data warehousing, “sandbox” environments and data back-up, and they are migrating portions or all of these work streams into the cloud. In these use cases, customers value the elasticity of compute and storage resources to help address the peaks and valleys of consumption. In the second category we find customer use cases that are focused on driving new revenue streams for their companies. Oracle offers a variety of solutions that guide a customer to a common goal; the ability to leverage analytics to unlock the value of their data and deliver meaningful business value. Here the key cloud use cases are data warehousing with compute analytics, high-performance data management and big-data services.

As we discussed throughout this blog, it is Oracle’s goal to bring its expertise proven in on-premise solutions, and replicate this in a suite of cloud services that truly deliver executable value for its customers. Oracle was positioned in the Gartner Magic Quadrant as a leader based on completeness of vision and ability to execute. In addition, Oracle has been a positioned the highest in the Magic Quadrant for Data Management Solutions for Analytics for the last three years. For more information on Oracle Data Management Cloud Services please visit us at – https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/database

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NoteThis graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Mastering Your Customer Experience Approach at Modern Commerce Experience 2017

By: Mia McPherson

Content Strategist

Mastering the customer experience is a non-negotiable in today’s competitive landscape as organizations are increasingly challenged with delighting customers at every touchpoint.

Achieving this seamless experience is no accident – it’s the result of well-coordinated, agile environment wherein the organization, its structure, teams, and technology work in tandem.

We’ve designed a series of sessions for Modern Commerce Experience 2017 that are focused on helping you master the customer experience. Come and hear how commerce industry leaders tap into customers’ desires and deliver the experiences that earn loyalty and revenue.

Sessions include:

“Experience Management in 3 Steps”

Wednesday, 4/26 at 2:30pm – 3:00pm

Thursday, 4/27 at 2:00pm – 2:30pm

Speaker:

Andrew Webb, Director, Product Management, Oracle

Summary:

Have you identified your target customer segments and need to address the online experience to match? Building a solid foundation in experience management for the global market will allow you to focus on iterating rapidly and dynamically as you see growth. This session will provide 3 basic themes to follow in experience management to set that foundation for future growth.

“Building & Driving Customer Self Service Experiences with CPQ and Commerce Cloud”

Wednesday, 4/26 at 4:45pm – 5:30pm

Speaker:

Douglas Berringer, Sales Operations Business Solutions Architect, Calix

Summary:

Cutting edge customer experience and true self-service capabilities are elusive goals for many businesses. Calix, a San Francisco bay area telecom equipment provider, stands out as a model for others to follow. During this session, Douglas will discuss how Calix is leveraging key technologies in Oracle CPQ, Commerce Cloud, and Integration Cloud Service to deliver seamless experiences including through key data integration points across products, accounts, and pricing.

“Roadmap to Digital Commerce Success with Forrester Research”

Thursday, 4/27 at 8:45am – 9:45am

Speakers:

Katrina Gosek, Senior Director, Product Management, Oracle

Mark Grannan, Senior Analyst, Forrester

Summary:

Are you prepared to attract, win, serve, and retain today’s consumer? The success of your digital strategy requires bridging the gap between your core capabilities and what customers want. Join guest speaker, Forrester Senior Analyst Mark Grannan, to learn how to develop a digital experience playbook for success. Mark will discuss key trends in consumer online shopping behavior, how to develop a successful digital experience technology strategy and roadmap, the essential components of a modern digital experience platform, and how to achieve quick-wins AND long term investments simultaneously.

View all Modern Commerce sessions

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Please note that session details and speakers are subject to change.

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Oracle Database 12c Release 2 – Capture The Value Of Data With The #1 Database In The Industry

By: Edgar Haren

Principal Product Marketing Director

Today, Oracle is proud to announce the general availability of Oracle Database 12c Release 2, the latest version of the #1 database in the industry for on-premises customers. A few months ago at Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle announced the latest release of Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) for the cloud. This initiative helped Oracle solidify to the market that the company is fully intent on developing the best, enterprise grade, data management solution for deployment on-prem or in the cloud. The availability of 12.2 in the cloud also allowed on-premise customers to test-drive the new release while gaining exposure to latest features. In Oracle’s pursuit to continuously transform data management, innovations focus on scalability, performance, security including the ease of mobility to the cloud. However the most important innovation of this launch consists of Oracle’s goal of empowering hybrid cloud deployments, and now customers can have the same experience and 100% compatibility whether they run on-premise, in the cloud or both.

Enterprise Scalability, Start-Up Agility And Performance

Oracle Multitenant brings the first major change in the database architecture since the introduction of RAC in 9i. Instead of having a stand-alone database for every application, Multitenant provides a new database consolidation model in which multiple Pluggable Databases (PDBs) are consolidated within a Container Database (CDB). This allows the PDBs to share the memory and background processes of a common CDB, while keeping many of the isolation aspects of single databases. If you are interested in trying out Oracle Multitenant there is a great tutorial available on oracle.com that will step you through all of the different aspects of this new database architecture.

Starting with Oracle Database 12c Release 2 it is now possible to horizontally partition or shard a very large database across a pool of independent databases called shards (up to 1000 shards are supported). Each shard runs on it’s own server and storage, which removes the necessity to have shared storage or clusterware! If you have a large OLTP application that you think could benefit from sharding you can follow the steps outlined in one of the new sharding cookbooks to set up your first sharded Oracle Database!

Oracle Database In-Memory introduces another major change in the database, this time in the form of a new columnar, compressed format and a new In-Memory column store. Up until now the Oracle Database has only stored data in a row format. With the introduction of Database In-Memory, data can now be populated into memory both in a row format (the buffer cache) and a new in-memory optimized columnar format (the column store), simultaneously. The Oracle Optimizer is fully aware of what data exists in the column format and automatically routes analytic queries to the column format and OLTP operations to the row format. It’s extremely easy to begin using Database In-Memory and you can find details here on the getting started posts on the In-Memory blog that walk you through it.

Lastly, one of the primary design tenets for Oracle Database12c Release 2 was the ability for a customer to run the latest release in their data centers, on Oracle’s public cloud or in a hybrid environment. Providing customers choice, with a range of database services on Oracle Cloud compatible with on-premises environments, is part Oracle’s hybrid cloud strategy, thereby helping customers with their transition to Oracle Cloud. A common architecture and software environment between on-premises and Oracle Cloud facilitates the movement of database workloads, enabling customers to utilize existing skills and resources, and reduce disruptions to their business. These innovations and product enhancements were put in place to help address customer challenges of today’s environment, but also helping future proof their eventual migration to the cloud.

We hope you found this blog insightful, and please take a look at the resources below for more information on the value of Oracle Database 12c Release 2 for on-premise deployments, along with the value of Oracle’s Database Cloud Services.

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Get to Know: Leveraging Product Data for Maximum Performance with Data Feed Experts GoDataFeed

If you sell products online, you most likely use product data feeds to drive customer acquisition—for everything from pay-per-click campaigns and comparison shopping to affiliate programs and online marketplaces. Data feeds are a cornerstone of many online marketing programs and optimizing them is a key way to drive visibility, return on ad spend, and conversions.

Our new partner, GoDataFeed, is one of the industry’s leading product feed performance platforms, trusted by thousands of retailers, including Pier One, Wine.com, RiteAid.com, Hammacher Schlemmer, and more. GoDataFeed’s service is easy to use—made even easier now with the launch of GodataFeed’s pre-built Oracle Commerce Cloud integration available in our Cloud Marketplace.

In the latest in our Get to Know series, GoDataFeed tells us the common mistakes merchants make with their data feeds, tips for using data feeds internationally, and new features and trends. Read on to get the insights!

1. Tell us about GoDataFeed—what services do you offer and what makes GoDataFeed such a powerful data feed management and distribution tool?

GoDataFeed enables rich and accurate product information to be integrated into a vast array of online channels, ensuring that consumers can find exactly what they are looking for and helping online retailers boost sales, drive engagement, and scale their business.

The ecommerce landscape is evolving and becoming more fragmented and complex as consumers are using a myriad of channels across devices to search for, compare, purchase, and discover products through online marketplaces, shopping engines, social networks, affiliate networks, retargeting platforms, and international channels.

The rapid pace of innovation in ecommerce has opened a significant gap between the in-house resources of merchants and the increasing requirements of online channels to demand high quality data.

For over a decade, GoDataFeed has worked with thousands of retailers and brands helping them succeed across the channels by offering a comprehensive toolset combined with an industry leading support team to optimize their product feeds, automate time-consuming processes, and measure performance across channels like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Walmart, Ebay, Polyvore, Bing and 200+ others.

2. How do you help merchants drive conversions?

Over the years, we have learned that product content is the single most influential element in driving conversions, a high-quality data feed with complete and accurate data makes your products more relevant and will drive engagement, increase reach, and delight shoppers.

GoDataFeed provides merchants with essential and advanced features to create a product feed. Some common ones include product filters, business rules, text replacement, multiple data sources, feed validation reports, numeric functions, custom feeds, scheduling, concatenate fields, variation support, marketplace order management, and many more.

Adding new channels is also seamless using our preset integrations with over 200 channels to choose from, ensuring that merchants have the right products on the right channels, expanding engagement and conversions.

3. What common mistakes do merchants make with their data feeds and what would you recommend they do to optimize them?

Price and Availability are two critical attributes that need to be accurate. When they are not synced with a merchant’s online catalog, this can lead to a multitude of problems, such as overselling and bad customer experience, resulting in removal of those items or even account suspension. We recommend merchants update their price/availability fields multiple times a day and we have clients who have a light inventory across many channels that will update hourly.

Images are the most prominent element in a listing and can be a differentiator to stand out from the competition. We still see issues where images are too small, have a logo, watermark or promotional text, or the Image URL is broken. We recommend images are at least 1000 pixels in height and width and are free of watermarks. We also recommend adding additional images from alternate views and angles.

Product titles provide merchants with an opportunity to distinguish their offering and a great title should be clear and descriptive at first sight. We still frequently see merchants listing the title they have on their website and that is typically not ideal for product feeds. We recommend using the full character limit and including any attribute that will differentiate your product. For example, “Ralph Lauren Pleated Cocktail Dress – Black 8” — notice how it includes brand, style, product type, color and size attributes. This will result in a higher conversion rate and limit the amount of clicks that do not convert.

4. Can you share any cool new features or initiatives you’re working on?

We are constantly adding features to help merchants compete, some of our recent releases include:

Walmart Marketplace support went live late last year and GoDataFeed is an official integration partner with support for all the features, including product listing, price and inventory management and order management.

Enhanced analytics and reporting features with more insights into performance metrics, ensuring merchants have a clear picture of their winners, and losers and merchants can automate some key actions such as suppressing underperforming products.

For Amazon marketplace, we added ASIN lookup feature that will match a Universal Product Code (UPC) with Amazons Standard Identification Number (ASIN) that helps list products faster and prevents mismatching errors.

5. What key trends and opportunities are you seeing in the industry?

Mobile Commerce will continue to grow, according to a recent report, nearly 55% of all web traffic is on mobile, and 75% of in-store shoppers use their mobile devices when shopping. It is expected that by the end of 2017, mobile will account for 60% of ecommerce traffic. Mobile conversion rates are still not close to those on desktop, due to poor mobile checkout experiences, but with better responsive sites coming out and more powerful smartphones, the gap should continue to close. We recommend that merchants start to think of mobile first and ensure they invest in a great mobile user experience.

Marketplaces continue to evolve and grow, a recent industry report cited that one out of every two dollars spent online goes to Amazon and over 50% of initial product searches start on Amazon. The marketplace landscape also changed last year with Walmart opening their marketplace to third party sellers and acquiring Jet. Some smaller marketplaces are focusing on specific categories, like Houzz for the interior design and furniture vertical. Marketplaces offer a great opportunity for merchants to compete and can contribute significantly to their bottom line.

6. For global retailers with data feeds in multiple languages and currencies, are there any specific tactics they should consider?

Merchants looking to sell into international markets should have a good understanding of the cultural elements beyond just the translation and currency conversion. Some points they should think of include how they will communicate with those customers, how they will handle returns, which payment methods they need to support, shipping, tax, and duty considerations, and country-specific laws and regulations. Going through a marketplace like Amazon can help simplify that process and merchants should clearly define their policies in the local language.

7. How can our customers take advantage of your turnkey Oracle Commerce Cloud GoDataFeed integration?

Visit the GoDataFeed page in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace to learn more about GoDataFeed, our Oracle Commerce Cloud integration, and how to get started with us!

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Oracle A Leader That Offers More Choices When It Comes To In-Memory Solutions

By: Edgar Haren

Principal Product Marketing Director

Industry analyst Forrester recently released The Forrester Wave™: In-Memory Databases, Q1 2017. The in-memory database market segment is growing at a 19% compound annual growth rate from 2016-2020, and there are many reasons for this solid growth rate. Forrester states that In-memory database initiatives are “fast on the rise as organizations focus on rolling out real-time analytics and extreme transactions to support growing business demands.” In addition, the massive amount of data being generated has fueled the growth of in-memory database solutions as customers look to extract value from the data they ingest.

The modern market has changed the way we perceive data. Data has become a form of capital, as it can provide deep insights into customer profiles, which in turn helps guide corporate strategies towards new revenue generating paths. The market has evolved so much that not only do companies realize that they have to digitize and process data, but market leaders are banking on their abilities to do so faster than their competition. Forrester explains this best when they comment, “An in-memory database is not just a nice-to-have option anymore — it has become critical to support next-generation transactions, analytics, and operational insights. No one needs yesterday’s data tomorrow!”

So what is an in-memory database? Forrester defines an in-memory database as “A database that stores all or most critical data in DRAM, flash, and SSD on either a single or distributed server to support various types of workloads, including transactional, operational, and/or analytical workloads, running on-premises or in the cloud.” Forrester also establishes the top in-memory database workloads commonly seen across various vertical industries as real-time apps that need low-latency access to critical business data, customer analytics to deliver improved customer experience, Internet-of-things (IoT) applications that can improve operational efficiency and mobile apps that need integrated data. Oracle believes the definition and use cases correlate well with why it was ranked as a leader by Forrester in the report. Providing an in-memory solution is more than dropping a database on flash storage or DRAM memory within a server. In-memory solutions are not standard IT solutions, but rather an IT solution that drives significant revenue or cost saving opportunities.

Oracle believes that it was listed as a leader for several reasons. The first being flexibility and choice, as customers have the option of choosing between two solutions, Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database and Oracle Database In-Memory products. With the combination of these two options, customers can deploy any type of application — transactional, operational, and analytical. Oracle offers a third high-performance option, Oracle’s Exadata Appliance which is designed for larger in-memory footprints. In addition to its on-premise solutions, Oracle is one of the few providers that also offers a cloud based data management platform. This is a critical differentiator as many solution providers offer products that are capable of being cloud deployed, but very few provide a comprehensive platform that is purpose built, optimized and designed for the cloud. In addition to product choice, customers also have a choice of deployment. Customers can choose an on-premise solution, a cloud deployment, or a hybrid approach. Customers will benefit from a user experience that is 100% the same on-prem or in the cloud, and they can leverage their existing skills across both. As an example, a customer could choose a hybrid cloud deployment with their standard Oracle database on-premise, but leverage Oracle’s Database Cloud Service for in-memory options that provide orchestration, automation and management tools to help customers ensure they deploy a solution at its optimal potential.

Lastly, another parameter that Oracle believes helped elevate it to a leader position was its roadmap and ability to execute. Forrester cites, “Its road map includes performance enhancements with faster decompression using software-in-silicon, in-memory replication, a high degree of automation, in-memory flash extension, and NVRAM support.” In addition, this Forrester Wave reviewed Oracle’s 12.1 edition, but Oracle has since launched its Oracle Database 12c Release 2 for the cloud first. In Oracle’s latest release customers can experience improved data mobility, increased security and key in-memory innovations.

These innovations include –

We hope you found this blog informative, and we encourage you to read the Forrester Wave report, and for a deeper assessment of the vendor landscape contact Forrester to view detailed product evaluations and adapt criteria weightings to fit your needs through the Forrester Wave Excel-based vendor comparison tool. For more information please visit the resources below.

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7 Significant and Realistic Commerce Predictions for 2017

By: Christine Bardwell

Sr. Product Strategist

A significant change expected in 2017 is that more B2Bs will undertake a digital transformation and shift to a model of selling online. Concurrently, global ecommerce brands are expected to expand into new geographies, proliferating the number of brands in each market.

This drive-to-digital is happening during a time of global political uncertainty. We can expect currency fluctuations, the cost of goods to increase and to see consumers hold back on spending. So what does it take for an online brand to succeed in a troubled, slow-growing and saturated market?

The importance of customer loyalty cannot be overstated

“Winning brands will be those that secure their customers’ loyalty at the get-go and then work hard not to let them go.”

In the digital age, customers have control. They choose when, where and how they shop. They have all the product and price information they need at their fingertips. If brands don’t provide them with the interaction and service they expect, they’ll simply shop elsewhere. Focusing on what the customer wants is paramount. This is why customer loyalty is the Holy Grail for the leading online brands. But don’t be confused; customer loyalty doesn’t begin and end with a loyalty program that enables consumers to collect and redeem points. Loyalty initiatives need to look beyond post-sales marketing activity. Customer loyalty ideals need to be ingrained throughout the entire customer experience. For an online brand to succeed they must consider the people, process and technology needed to address key customer experience and loyalty challenges across the buyer journey. Here are several online commerce trends and initiatives that will be vital for driving customer loyalty in 2017.

7 Commerce Predictions for 2017

  1. Artificial intelligence will give personalization a quantum loyalty boostKatrina Gosek – Senior Director, Oracle Commerce
  2. Seizing mobile micro-moments will be the key to driving loyalty – Brenna Johnson – Senior Strategist, Oracle Commerce
  3. Speed and simplicity will trump perfection – Jeri Kelley – Senior Strategist, Oracle Commerce
  4. Direct-to-consumer selling will accelerate as companies seek to solidify brand loyalty – Mark Knisely – Director, Oracle Commerce Consulting
  5. Voice-activated shopping will change how we interact with brands – Alistair Galbraith Senior Director, Strategy, Oracle Commerce
  6. Shoppable video adoption will educate, entertain, convert and retainAllon Caidar – CEO, TVPage, Inc.
  7. 2017 will be the year that loyalty drives contentTheresa O’Neil – Senior Vice President of Marketing, PowerReviews

Get the details behind these predictions in our free ebook:

2017 commerce predictions - read for free

Want to make 2017 your best year ever? Join us at Modern Commerce Experience 2017 this April.

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